The home counties are thoroughly blessed with some fabulous golf courses and Bearwood Lakes Golf Club in Sindlesham is definitely one of them. The wonderfully modern and high quality facilities are surrounded by an absolute gem of a golf course, sculpted carefully from the most majestic forested setting.
You’d certainly be forgiven for thinking that this golf course has been around for nearer 100 years, and you’ll be thoroughly surprised when you find out that the first tee opened just 20 years ago in 1996. It really is an excellent course that belies its age. Myself and 3 friends visited Bearwood Lakes this February and whilst many courses are still recovering from the recent barrage of rain, it was great to see a full length golf course, on main tees and great quality greens for this early in the season.
The weather was cold, but the endless February rain had subsided for the day. We arrived early as the traffic had been kind this Sunday morning and were greeted by a member of the professional team. After being seated in the striking restaurant and ordering what was a lovely pre golf breakfast we were handed a gift box each containing some high quality Bearwood Lakes branded golf balls and (without a doubt) my new favourite bag tag – complete with engraving. We were already feeling like VIP’s.
We were greeted by the Managing Director (Carl Rutherford) just before we hit the practise facilities and after a quick fire 5 minute chat you get the feeling the club is in great hands. The full length range at Bearwood Lakes greets you with little pyramids of golf balls you would usually associate with televised coverage and it was great to see more of the professional team carrying out a junior coaching session.
We hit a collection of balls and then moved on to sample the rest of the practise facilities. A great pitching / chipping green with practise bunker, and then a good sized putting green situated beside the well stocked pro-shop and the first tee. The starter calls your name, provides a few tips and you are ready to go.
Once you experience the golf course it is easy to see why it has already been rated as the best inland course to be built for over 30 years. At 6850 yards from the back tees Bearwood Lakes will test the very best amongst us. As the course meanders through a backdrop of mature trees that were originally part of Windsor Great Park you’ll be greeted with a selection of stunning golf holes. Designed by Guy Hockley, under the direction of Martin Hawtree the first few holes have generous hitting zones, but well protected greens pull you nicely into the tree lined front nine. The half way hut serving great food and refreshments is a welcome sight and prepares you for a quite beautiful 10th hole and subsequent collection of signature holes that wrap the lake and provide glimpses of Bearwood House. This is a part of the course that really defines this superb layout.
You do need to constantly remind yourself to stop being drawn into the beauty and to focus on your game.
Bearwood Lakes requires attention, skill and a good collection of shot making in order to navigate your way through the final collection of tree lined holes and successfully back to the clubhouse. Once in, the changing facilities are exactly as you’d expect them to be. High quality and comfortable. We treated ourselves to a drink from the well stocked and busy restaurant bar then wandered into the equally as impressive sports bar to catch up with the afternoon football.
After a greatly enjoyable round of golf we were certainly hungry. The food was as sublime as the breakfast was earlier in the day and left us thoroughly full. The restaurant was busy with families enjoying their Sunday, and no doubt enjoying the chef’s food. While the bars were bustling not just with golfers, but also members taking in the surroundings, watching the sport or enjoying the venues open fires.
I’ve played a fair collection of exclusive golf clubs around London and Bearwood Lakes has leapfrogged some excellent clubs into the top spot for overall experience. It’s the all encompassing quality that won my heart here. The course, the clubhouse, the facilities, the food and just as important as all of those, the staff (who couldn’t do enough for us that day) make this place a superb venue.
The members here are certainly very lucky people and I am sure are very proud of their golf club. We thoroughly believe you’d be hard pressed to find a better golf experience in such an exclusive club in the area. If you have thought about, or are considering Bearwood Lakes as your next golf club then you’re on the right track.